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About The Book

The most valuable leadership skill you’ve never been taught.

In our fast-changing world, leaders are increasingly confronted by messy, multifaceted challenges that require collaboration to resolve. But the standard methods for tackling these challenges—meetings packed with data-drenched presentations, or brainstorming sessions that circle back to nowhere—just don’t deliver.

Great strategic conversations generate breakthrough insights by combining the best ideas of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. They lift participants above the fray of daily concerns and narrow self-interest, reconnecting them to their greater, collective purpose. And they create deep, lasting impacts that propel organizations forward.

Drawing on decades of experience as innovation strategists, Moments of Impact unveils a simple, creative process that leaders and their teams can use to unlock solutions to their most vexing issues.

"This is a guide every frustrated meeting-goer should read, with advice they should all implement."
Publishers Weekly ››

What People Are Saying


“They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I say that’s also a pretty good definition of the typical business meeting. If you’d like to short-circuit the meeting loop and energize your team’s ability to solve real problems and create new visions, then Moments of Impact is the book you need.”

Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive


“What if conversations at work actually mattered? Moments of Impact shows how they can, offering an actionable model for sparking creativity and driving change.”

Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take


“In this wonderfully simple book, Lisa and Chris achieve the remarkable: they show us how to (1) Build a team that knows what it’s doing, (2) Deliver complex messages in a clear way, and (3) Understand the most important business skill nobody ever taught us: empathy.”

Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin and Show & Tell


Strategy is one of the most overused, poorly understood words in the business lexicon. Ertel and Solomon set out to make it meaningful again, drawing on decades of experience running real strategic conversations.”

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus


“Stories ignite understanding and engagement on our most important strategic challenges. Moments of Impact reveals how to go beyond data-driven meetings to generate new insights that help change our world for the better.”

Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Design, author, Resonate and Slide:ology


“We’ve seen how the power of design can radically change experiences for the better. Moments of Impact shows how design can transform our strategic conversations, too.”

Scott Cook, Co-founder Intuit


“Solomon and Ertel get it. We need to move beyond the blah blah blah dominating our meeting rooms today. We need strategic conversations; this book shows you how to design them.”

Alexander Osterwalder, lead author of Business Model Generation, co-founder of Strategyzer


“Conversations are how groups of people learn, collaborate and act together, but having powerful, coherent and strategic conversations takes active design and support. Chris Ertel and Lisa Solomon collaborators of mine for many years have provided a practical and insightful guide to shaping consequential strategic conversations. A must read for anyone shaping the decision environment of an organization.”

Peter Schwartz, author of The Art of the Long View and co-founder of GBN.

Designing strategic conversations is a craft— not a crapshoot. It’s a craft defined by a few core principles and key practices that can catapult a “been there, done that” meeting into a gathering that few will forget.

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About The Authors


Chris Ertel has been designing strategic conversations for seventeen years as an advisor to senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and large nonprofits. A PhD-trained social scientist, he lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife and daughter.



Lisa Kay Solomon teaches innovation at the MBA in Design Strategy program at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts and helps executive teams develop the vision, tools, and skills to design better futures. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Menlo Park, CA.

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Moments Of Impact Resources

If you are ready now to join our quest to eliminate all time-sucking, energy-depleting meetings and workshops, check out the following resources that will help put you on that path. All of these are free and available for download immediately. If you would like us to let you know when we have news or post more resources here, please join our mailing list.

MOI Overview

About The Book

MOI Introduction


MOI Designing Strategic Conversations

Designing Strategic Conversations

MOI Starter Kit Teaser

Starter Kit Teaser

If you want to make progress against adaptive challenges, you have to harness the best thinking and judgment of your best people—especially when they don’t agree.

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